• bioconjugation;
  • biomaterials;
  • Diels-Alder polymers;
  • radical polymerization;
  • functionalization of polymers;
  • maleimide polymer


Polymers containing thiol-reactive maleimide groups on their side chains have been synthesized by utilization of a novel methacrylate monomer containing a masked maleimide. Diels-Alder reaction between furan and maleimide was adapted for the protection of the reactive maleimide double bond prior to polymerization. AIBN initiated free radical polymerization was utilized for synthesis of copolymers containing masked maleimide groups. No unmasking of the maleimide group was evident under the polymerization conditions. The maleimide groups in the side chain of the polymers were unmasked into their reactive form by utilization of retro Diels-Alder reaction. This cycloreversion was monitored by thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 45: 4545–4551, 2007